Sdev stylistic differentiation of the english vocabulary

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Sdev stylistic differentiation of the english vocabulary

  1. 1. Stylistic Differentiation of the English Vocabulary The word-stock of any language may be presented as a system, the elements of which are interconnected, interrelated and yet independent. Then the word-stock of the English language may be divided into three main layers (strata): the literary layer (stratum), the neutral layer, and the colloquial layer. The literary and the colloquial layers contain a number of subgroups. Each subgroup has a property it shares with all the subgroups within the layer. This common property which unites the different groups within the layer is called its aspect. The aspect of the literary layer is its bookish character, which makes the layer more or less stable. The aspect of the colloquial layer is its lively spoken character, which makes it unstable, fleeting. The aspect of the neutral layer is its universal character. It can be employed in all styles of language and in all spheres of human activity. This makes the layer the most stable of all. The classification given by I.R.Galperin reflects to a great extent the mobility of the lexical system so characteristic of the English language at its present stage of development. The vocabulary has been divided here into two basic groups: standard and non-standard vocabulary. The diagram on p.2 demonstrates the aforementioned layers and their subgroups. The literary vocabulary consists of the following groups of words: 1. common literary; 2. terms and learned [′ lə:nid] words; 3. poetic words; 4. archaic words; 5. barbarisms and foreign words; 6. literary coinages and nonce-words. The colloquial vocabulary includes the following groups of words: 1. common colloquial words; 2. slang; 3. jargonisms; 4. professionalisms; 5. dialectal words; 6. vulgar words; 7. colloquial coinages. The common literary, neutral and common colloquial words are grouped under the term Standard English Vocabulary. Other groups in the literary and colloquial layers are called special literary (bookish) vocabulary and special (non-standard) colloquial vocabulary. Neutral words Neutral words form the bulk of the English Vocabulary and are used in both literary and colloquial language. Neutral words are the main source of synonymy and polysemy. Unlike all other groups, neutral words don’t have a special stylistic colouring and are devoid of emotional meaning. Common standard literary words Common standard literary words are chiefly used in writing and in polished speech. They are used in formal communication. Literary words are mainly observed in the written form. One
  2. 2. can always tell a literary word from a colloquial word, because literary words are used to satisfy communicative demands of official, scientific, poetic messages, while colloquial words are employed in non-official everyday communication. Special literary-bookish vocabulary Common standard-literary vocabulary Common Col..voc. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Common English voc. ююююю ююю ээ рр Common standard-colloquial vocabulary Special colloquial (non-standard) vocabulary Neutral Words Author’s coinages (nonce- words) Poetic words Archaic and historical words Terms Barbarisms and foreignisms Professiona- lisms Slang Nonce- words JargonismsDialectal words Vulgarisms Literary words stand in opposition to colloquial words forming pairs of synonyms which are based on contrasting relations. Colloquial Neutral Literary kid child infant daddy father parent get out go away retire 2
  3. 3. go on continue proceed Common standard colloquial words Common colloquial words are always more emotionally coloured than literary ones. They are used in informal communication. Both literary and colloquial words have their upper and lower ranges. The lower range of literary words approaches the neutral layer and has a tendency to pass into that layer. The upper range of the colloquial layer can easily pass into the neutral layer too. The lines of demarcation between common colloquial and neutral and common literary and neutral are blurred. Here we may see the process of interpenetration of the stylistic layers. The stylistic function of the different layers of the English Vocabulary depends in many respects on their interaction when they are opposed to one another. It is interesting to note that anything written assumes a greater degree of significance than what is only spoken. If the spoken takes the place of the written or vice versa, it means that we are faced with a stylistic device. Special literary-bookish vocabulary 1. Terms and learned words. These are words denoting scientific concepts or objects, processes, phenomena of science, humanities, technique. One of the most characteristic features of a term is its direct relevance to the system of terms used in a particular science, discipline or art. e.g. power transmission circumference Terms are mostly used in special works dealing with the notions of some branch, therefore it may be said that they belong to the style of the language of science. But their usage is not confined to this style. They may appear in other styles, but their function in this case changes: they do not refer to a given concept. In other styles a term may acquire a stylistic function to create the environment, the true-to-life atmosphere of the narration, or to make some reference to the occupation of the character thus creating a particular professional background. A term may be used with a parodying function contributing to a humorous effect. So when used in the belles-lettres style, a term may become a stylistic device. This happens when a term is used in such a way that two meanings are materialized simultaneously. 2. Poetic and highly literary words. Poetic and highly literary words belong to special literary vocabulary. They are mostly archaic and aim at producing an elevated effect or giving the work of are a lofty poetic colouring. Poetic tradition has kept alive such archaic words and forms as follows: poetic neutral woe sorrow quouth speak harken hear speaketh speaks cometh comes brethren brothers wilt 2-nd person singular Poetic words are not freely built. Very often they are built by compounding: 3
  4. 4. e.g. young-eyed, rosy-fingered. In the following poem by L. Hughes we may see the examples of poetic style not only in the choice of word, but also in the compound word. Langston Hughes Dreams Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Poetic words are said to evoke emotive meanings. They colour the utterance with a certain air of loftiness. But very often they become too hackneyed, too stale for this purpose. Poetic words in an ordinary environment may also have a satirical function. 3. Archaic words (obsolescent and obsolete words). The word-stock of any language is in the state of constant change. Words change their meaning and sometimes drop out of the language altogether. We shall distinguish 3 stages in the aging process of words. The first stage means the beginning of the aging process when the word becomes rarely used. Such words are in the stage of gradually passing out of general use, and are called obsolescent [,Cbsə′lesənt] (выходящий из употребления, устаревающий). These are morphological forms belonging to the earlier stages in the development of the language. They are quite easily recognized by the English language community. e.g. thou (ты) thee (тебя, тебе, тобой) thy (твой) -est – thou makest -(e)th – he maketh, speaketh wilt – will Obsolescent words are widely used in poetry as in the following poem by G.G.Byron. G.G. Byron And wilt thou weep when I am low? And wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! Speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so – I would not give that bosom pain. My heart is sad, my hopes are gone, My blood runs coldly through my breast; And when I perish, thou alone Wilt sigh above my place of rest. The second stage of the aging process. Here are included those words that have already gone completely out of use but are still recognized by the English speaking community. They are called obsolete [′Cbsəli:t] (вышедший из употребления, устаревший). e.g. methinks  it seems to me nay  no whereof  of which The third stage indicates the words which are no longer recognized in Modern English. They are called archaic proper. 4
  5. 5. e.g. troth (faith) a losel (a lazy fellow) befall (happen) There are also historical words denoting concepts and phenomena that are out of use in modern times. They never disappear from the language and have no synonyms, while archaic words have been replaced by modern synonyms. e.g. knight yeoman spear goblet Historical words are primarily used in the creation of a realistic background of historical novels. One of the main functions of archaisms is purely poetic function, when they are used to create an elevated effect, or to suit a solemn occasion. It should be mentioned that archaic words are frequently found in the style of official documents. e.g. aforesaid (aforenamed) hereby hereinafter henceforth Their function here is terminological in character. They help to maintain the exactness of expression so necessary in this style. When archaic words are used in a depiction of events of present-day life, they assume the function of a stylistic device. They may be used for satirical purposes. So, archaisms occurring in inappropriate surroundings are intentionally used by the writer to cause a humorous effect. 4. Barbarisms and foreignisms. Barbarisms are words of foreign origin which have not entirely been assimilated into the English language. They bear the appearance of a borrowing and are felt as something alien to the native tongue. Most of them have corresponding English synonyms. e.g. chic (stylish) bon mot (a clever witty saying) tête-a tête (face to face) Barbarisms have already become facts of the English language: they are given in dictionaries. Foreign words do not belong to the English vocabulary, they are not registered in dictionaries. They are generally italicized to indicate their foreign nature or their stylistic value. Very often foreign words fulfill a terminological function. They have no synonyms. e.g. Duma Kandidat blitzkrieg perestroika taiga Both barbarisms and foreign words are used in various styles with various aims. One of their functions is to supply local colour, that is to depict local conditions of life, customs and habits, concrete facts and events and other specific cultural peculiarities. Barbarisms and foreign words very often convey the idea of the foreign origin or cultural and educational status of the personage. 5. Literary coinages and nonce words. This material was given to you in detail at the lecture. 5
  6. 6. Political Correctness Negro > coloured > black > African American/Afro-American [негр > цветной > черный > африканский американец/афроамериканец]; Red Indians > Native Americans [краснокожие индейцы > коренные жители] Eskimo - Native Alaskan spokesman [делегат] > spokesperson; cameraman [оператор] > camera operator; foreman [начальник] > supervisor; fireman [пожарник] > fire fighter; postman [почтальон] > mail carrier; businessman [бизнесмен] > executive [исполнительный директор] или параллельно — business woman; stuardess [стюардесса] > flight attendant; chairman [председатель] > chairperson; headmistress [директриса] > headteacher invalid > handicapped > disabled > differently-abled > physically challenged [инвалид > с физическими/умственными недостатками > покалеченный > с иными возможностями > человек, преодолевающий трудности из-за своего физического состояния]; retarded children > children with learning difficulties [умственно отсталые дети > дети, испытывающие трудности при обучении]; old age pensioners > senior citizens [пожилые пенсионеры > старшие граждане]; poor > disadvantaged > economically disadvantaged [бедные > лишенные возможностей (преимуществ) > экономически ущемленные]; unemployed > unwaged [безработные > не получающие зарплаты]; slums > substandard housing [трущобы > жилье, не отвечающее стандартам]; bin man > refuse collectors [человек, роющийся в помойках > собиратель вещей, от которых отказались]; natives > indigenious population [местное население > исконное население]; foreigners > aliens, newcomers [иностранцы > незнакомцы; приезжие, нездешние]; foreign languages > modern languages [иностранные языки > современные языки]; short people > vertically challenged people [люди низкого роста > люди, преодолевающие трудности из-за своих вертикальных пропорций]; fat people > horizontally challenged people [полные люди > люди, преодолевающие трудности из-за своих горизонтальных пропорций]; third world countries > emerging nations [страны третьего мира > возникающие нации]; collateral damage > civilians killed accidentally by military action [сопутствующие потери > гражданские лица, случайно убитые во время военных действий]; killing the enemy > servicing the target [уничтожение врага > попадание в цель] pets [домашние животные], предполагающее человека как хозяина или владельца, заменяется словосочетанием animal companions [компаньоны-животные], house plants > botanical companions [домашние растения > компаньоны-растения], предметы неодушевленного мира — mineral companions [компаньоны-минералы]. the poor - the socially deprived социально обездоленные, the underprivileged малопривилегированные, the disadvantages попавшие в менее благоприятные обстоятельства, low-income people cripple - differently abled, physically different или handicapable fat - big-boned, differently sized, bald - hair-disadvantaged, deaf глухой –aurally inconvenienced, 6
  7. 7. blind слепой – unseeing. Умственно отсталых людей называют learning disabled, special, mentally challenged people. insane asylum (больница для душевнобольных) - mental hospital смерть пациента в больнице - terminal episode, therapeutic misadventure, negative patient care outcome парикмахер - hairstylist или beautician garbage collector (сборщик мусора) - sanitation engineer, эвфемизм environmental hygienist – не что иное, как название дворника (a janitor). capitalism - the system of free enterprising система свободного предпринимательства, open society открытое общество, economic humanism экономический гуманизм. prison - correctional facilities prison guards (тюремные надзиратели) - correctional officers или custodial officers (офицеры охраны). Заключенные - clients of correctional system (клиенты системы исправительных учреждений), guests гости или people enjoying temporarily hospitality from the state люди, пользующиеся временным гостеприимством у государства. Общую классификацию эвфемизмов по тематическим группам можно представить в виде таблицы: Тематическая группа эвфемизмов Примеры I. Эвфемизмы, смягчающие различные виды дискриминации 1) возрастную дискриминацию middlescence, third age, senior, mature 2) имущественную дискриминацию economically exploited, low-income, differently advantaged 3) дискриминацию лиц с физическими или умственными недостатками physically challenged, handicapable, learning disable, special 4) расовую и этническую дискриминацию person of color, member of African diaspora, indigenous person II. Эвфемизмы, уменьшающие суеверный страх перед какими-либо явлениями moonchild, hospice, room of reconciliation, therapeutic misadventure III. Эвфемизмы, повышающие престиж отдельной профессии hairstylist, funeral director, sanitation engineer, environmental hygienist IV. Эвфемизмы, отвлекающие от негативных явлений действительности 1) служащие прикрытием агрессивных военных действий involvement, device, air support, pacification, body-count 2) смягчающие негативные последствия в социально-экономической сфере period of economic adjustment, downsizing, negative cash flow 3) связанные с преступностью correctional facilities, custodial officer, 7
  8. 8. client, guest 8

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